12 INVESTIGATES: Improvements at USPS Sandston plant

SANDSTON, VA (WWBT) - It was one year ago today we broke news about major problems with mail delivery in Central Virginia. Packages, bills, letters and magazines sitting at the Sandston Distribution Center, untouched and delivered weeks late.

So have things changed? We are still getting calls about mail not being delivered on time, but not as many complaints as we saw a year ago. And there's good reason for that. We've uncovered new documents that show the Sandston Plant is actually improving.

In 2010, 12% of the mail coming in and out of the Sandston Plant was not delivered on time making Sandston the worst processing center in the country for timely deliveries.

In 2011, during the height of our investigation, it wasn't much better. We've learned nearly 10% of your mail was still getting stuck in Sandston.

Our latest investigation has uncovered a new audit by the Inspector General on the timeliness of mail across the country. In the report, during the first three quarters of 2012, Sandston has made major improvements. Only 5 percent of the mail is still delivered late.

According to the audit, there were similar problems at plants in Cleveland Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The US Postal Service has made mail timeliness a major focus nationwide.

And there's a reason,  money. Postal losses are expected to reach a record $15 billion this year. It's estimated delayed mail can cost the postal service more than $17 million in revenue. And that's because fed up customers may look at Fed Ex or other companies for future deliveries.

According to the audit, nationwide, delayed mail is down nationwide and that's because of the increased focus on the problem by the USPS.

In a statement, released Friday, a spokesperson for the Sandston plant said:

"...Our mission is to provide the best possible service to our customers. As the needs of our customers change, we are committed to making changes that will meet and ultimately exceed their expectations."

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